Support the troops: stop the war!

In its fanatical drive for war on Iraq, the Bush administration is painting a picture of a sanitary “shock and awe” blitzkrieg that will overwhelm Iraq and produce a rapid U.S. victory with little loss of U.S. lives. The fact that many thousands of Iraqi civilians would die horrible deaths is brushed aside.

The 1991 Gulf War should serve as a warning. In the 100-hour ground offensive, 157 U.S. soldiers were killed, but the number of service people now listed as casualties of that war is higher than in any other modern war the U.S. has been involved in.

The Defense Department defines a casualty as any person who has been declared dead, whereabouts unknown, missing, ill, or injured.

722,000 Americans fought in the 1991 war. The Gulf War Veterans Association lists 207,000 as casualties, nearly one in three. One in three of the soldiers who served in that war have filed claims with the Veterans Administration for a variety of symptoms. Some were exposed to poison gases and U.S.-administered medicines. Many were exposed to depleted uranium used in U.S. weaponry.

The more than 200,000 troops awaiting war today are overwhelmingly the sons and daughters of the working class. Many are Black, Latino and other people of color. Many of the youth were attracted to join by military recruiters offering education and jobs. Youth activists have dubbed this the “poverty draft.”

They are being asked to go to war by “chickenhawks” like Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld, who avoided military service in their own youth.

Millions in our country and around the world are rejecting this administration’s brutal war policy. This war will not make our country safe. It will not give our young people a better life.

To support our young people now serving in the armed forces, the best thing we can do is march, vigil, e-mail, phone call, petition – to prevent this war and bring our troops home now!

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The immorality of war!

“When people speak to you about a preventive war, you tell them to go and fight it. After my experience, I have come to hate war. War settles nothing,” President Dwight D. Eisenhower said.

“Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and not clothed,” Eisenhower, a former general, also said.

This is the moral language and leadership of a president. Something we’re not getting from George W. Bush.

Bush, in his evangelical language, is trying to convince the American people that his plans to obliterate Iraq is a moral cause. The White House hawks and their supporters talk about a new “moral clarity” in American foreign policy, which includes using 21,000 ton bombs against the children of Iraq. Countries that dare to say peaceful disarmament is possible in Iraq feel the “moral clarity” of the Bush administration’s threats and bribes.

But where is the morality in planning to destroy another country and then inviting your corporate buddies to bid for its rebuilding? Where is the morality in giving billions of dollars to this industry of death, instead of “industries” of life: public education, health care, job creation, environmental clean-up and affordable housing.

This organized crime syndicate lodged in the White House and their “goodfellas” cannot possibly convince the American people or the world by stating their true plans – to dominate the world through military might.

So they wrap it in the language of moralism and religion, hoping they can sweeten the poison pill with piousness. They use the people’s moral and righteous indignation against terrorism and the Sept. 11 attack and try to transfer that to Iraq. History calls that kind of tactic “The Big Lie.”

And where is the morality in that?